Monday, July 21, 2014

[PaleoMammalogy • 2014] “Eodelphiskabatensis • A New Name for the Oldest True Dolphin Stenella kabatensis Horikawa, 1977 (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae), from the upper Miocene of Japan, and the Phylogeny and Paleobiogeography of Delphinoidea

Eodelphis” kabatensis (Horikawa, 1977)
Illustration: R. Boessenecker |

The oldest reported fossil record of Delphinidae is from the late Miocene (11 Ma) of California. Reliable Miocene fossil delphinids, however, are few. “Eodelphis kabatensis from the upper Miocene Mashike Formation (8.5-13.0 Ma), Hokkaido, northern Japan, is the oldest described Miocene delphinid including a skull. Therefore, this species is a significant clue to understanding the early evolutionary history of Delphinidae. The original taxonomic assignment of this species within the genus Stenella is questionable; thus, we propose a new combination for the species, Eodelphis kabatensis Horikawa, 1977. Eodelphis is a basal delphinid, and comprehensive morphological cladistic analysis, including molecular topological constraints, supported this taxonomic revision. Paleobiogeographic analyses based on the present morphological cladistic analysis and analysis under the molecular constraints suggest that the origin and early diversification of Delphinidae occurred in the middle Miocene Pacific Ocean or elsewhere, respectively.


CETACEA Brisson, 1762
ODONTOCETI Flower, 1867

EODELPHIS, new genus

Type and Only Known Species: “Eodelphis kabatensis (new combination).

Diagnosis: As for the type species.
Etymology: From the Ancient Greek ‘Eo,’ for dawn referring to the earliest delphinid; and from Latin ‘delphis,’ for dolphin.

EODELPHIS KABATENSIS (Horikawa, 1977), new combination

Delphinidae, gen.
et sp. indet. Horikawa and Fujita, 1972:177, pl. 1.
Stenella kabatensis: Horikawa, 1977:98, figs. 2–8, pls. 1, 2.
Delphinidae, gen. indet. Ichishima, 2005:11.

We redescribed the late Miocene delphinid, Stenella kabatensis (8.5–13.0 Ma), from Hokkaido, northern Japan, as a new genus “Eodelphis”. Both a comprehensive morphological cladistic analysis and this analysis under the constraint tree of molecular phylogenetic analyses support a new combination of the species; i.e., Eodelphis is significantly more archaic than the Stenella complex. Those analyses also indicate that the two extinct species Stenella rayi and Tursiops osennae are not included in the Stenella complex. “Eodelphis is significant for understanding the origin, early evolution, and paleobiogeography of Delphinidae, as well as calibration of the molecular divergence estimates: “Eodelphis” kabatensis is the oldest and only valid Miocene delphinid species yet described. However, paleobiogeographic analyses based on the present phylogenetic analyses suggest different biogeographic scenarios: origin and early diversification in the middle Miocene Pacific Ocean or outside the Pacific Ocean. To resolve the origin of Delphinidae, we need to include more fossil delphinids and kentriodontids in phylogenetic analyses.

 Mizuki Murakami, Chieko Shimada and Yoshinori Hikida. 2014. “Eodelphis kabatensis, a new name for the oldest true dolphin Stenella kabatensis Horikawa, 1977 (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Delphinidae), from the upper Miocene of Japan, and the phylogeny and paleobiogeography of Delphinoidea. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34(3); 

Unfortunately as it turns out - Eodelphis  is a preoccupied name for Cretaceous marsupial. So, it will require an additional paper proposing yet another replacement name.

Dolphins swam the oceans six MILLION years earlier than thought via @MailOnline

Sunday, July 20, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi • A New Species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Karst Forest of Luang Prabang Province, northern Laos

Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi
Schneider, Nguyen, Le, Nophaseud, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2014

We describe a new species of the gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus on the basis of two specimens collected from limestone forests of Luang Prabang Province, northern Laos. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners by a combination of the following diagnostic characters: maximum SVL 86.1 mm; supralabials 9 or 10; infralabials 7–9; dorsal tubercles in 15 or 16 rows at midbody; ventral scale rows 34–36 at midbody; precloacal groove absent; femoral scales not distinctly enlarged; precloacal pores absent in females (unknown in males); subdigital lamellae under the fourth finger 18 or 19, under the fourth toe 18–20; subcaudals not transversally enlarged; dorsal bands white, 4 or 5 between limb insertions plus another one between hind limbs; tail banded. Based on molecular analyses, the new species is clustered in the same clade with C. wayakonei and two other species from Luang Prabang and Houaphan provinces.

Keywords: Bent-toed gecko, limestone forest, phylogeny, taxonomy, Luang Prabang Province

Schneider, Nicole, Truong Q. Nguyen, Minh D. Le, Liphone Nophaseud, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler. 2014. A New Species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Karst Forest of northern Laos. Zootaxa. 3835(1): 80–96.

[Herpetology • 2014] Cyrtodactylus puhuensis • DNA Barcoding of Vietnamese Bent-toed Geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) and the Description of A New Species from northwestern Thanh Hóa Province, northern Vietnam

 Pù Hu Bent-toed Gecko | Cyrtodactylus puhuensis
Nguyen, Yang, Thi Le, Nguyen, Orlov, Hoang, Nguyen,
Jin, Rao, Hoang, Che, Murphy & Zhang, 2014

Species of bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus) in Vietnam have been described at a rate of nearly four species per year since 2007 mostly based on morphological data. A tool that guides species delimitation will accelerate the rate of documentation, and at a time when the recognition of species greatly benefits conservation. We use DNA barcoding using COI (550 bp) to re-examine the levels of genetic divergence and taxonomic status of 21 described species of Vietnamese bent-toed geckos. Tree-based analyses resolve all sampled species and identify potential undescribed taxa. Kimura 2-parameter genetic distances between the described species average 21.0±4.2% and range from 4.3% to 28.7%. Further, our analyses discover two potentially new species from Vietnam, two from Laos and one from China. Herein we describe the new species Cyrtodactylus puhuensis sp. nov. from Vietnam on the basis of both genetics and morphology. Genetically, it differs from the remaining species by an average K2P distance of 24.0±1.8%. Morphologically, the new species is diagnosed by its medium-size (snout-vent length 79.24 mm and tail length 82.59 mm, for the single known individual), in having a series of moderately enlarged transverse subcaudals and a series of moderately enlarged femoral scales that extend from precloacal scales, in possessing femoral scales without pores, with males having five precloacal pores, and in exhibiting 8 supralabials, 10 infralabials, 23 narrow subdigital lamellae on its fourth toe, and 36 transverse ventrals. 

Key words: Cyrtodactylus puhuensis, Indochina, Thanh Hoa, genealogy

Nguyen, Sang N., Jun-xiao Yang, Thanh-ngan T. Le, Luan T. Nguyen, Nikolai L. Orlov, Chung V. Hoang, Truong Q. Nguyen, Jie-qiong Jin, Ding-Qi Rao, Thao N. Hoang, Jing Che, Robert W. Murphy & Ya-Ping Zhang. 2014. DNA Barcoding of Vietnamese Bent-toed Geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) and the Description of A New Species. Zootaxa. 3784(1): 48–66.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

[Paleontology • 2014] Lyrarapax unguispinus • Brain Structure resolves the Segmental Affinity of anomalocaridid Appendages

Lyrarapax unguispinus
Cong, Ma, Hou, Edgecombe & Strausfeld. 2014
a, b, Dorsal view of Lyrarapax unguispinus YKLP13305 (left side slightly tilted downwards) resolving straight midgut (mg) and sinusoidal alimentary tract (alt). Four neck and eleven trunk segments, the first providing paired oar-like flaps (fl between arrowheads), the last providing the tail fan (tf). Dark areas in the head indicate paired frontal appendage ganglia (frg), optic tract (opt) linking retinas (re) in eyes (ey) to flattened lateral protocerebral lobes (lpr in h) flanking an approximately bilaterally symmetric protocerebrum (pr). Metameric striate areas indicate muscle (m). c–e, Raised and indented grooves of muscle blocks (enlargements of boxed areas in b). f–h, Neural traces: blue digital filter (f) cancels colours in fossil except dark neural regions (for example, medial protocerebrum, mpr) that are resolved by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (g), as carbon-rich domains, and shown by oblique illumination relative to eye and head margins (h); bm, basement membrane and first optic neuropil. Raised neck segments gradually obscure caudally directed descending tracts (dt). Scale bars: a, b, 1 cm; c–e, 0.5 mm; f (also for g) and h, 5 mm.

Despite being among the most celebrated taxa from Cambrian biotas, anomalocaridids (order Radiodonta) have provoked intense debate about their affinities within the moulting-animal clade that includes Arthropoda. Current alternatives identify anomalocaridids as either stem-group euarthropods, crown-group euarthropods near the ancestry of chelicerates, or a segmented ecdysozoan lineage with convergent similarity to arthropods in appendage construction. Determining unambiguous affinities has been impeded by uncertainties about the segmental affiliation of anomalocaridid frontal appendages. These structures are variably homologized with jointed appendages of the second (deutocerebral) head segment, including antennae and ‘great appendages’ of Cambrian arthropods, or with the paired antenniform frontal appendages of living Onychophora and some Cambrian lobopodians. Here we describe Lyrarapax unguispinus, a new anomalocaridid from the early Cambrian Chengjiang biota, southwest China, nearly complete specimens of which preserve traces of muscles, digestive tract and brain. The traces of brain provide the first direct evidence for the segmental composition of the anomalocaridid head and its appendicular organization. Carbon-rich areas in the head resolve paired pre-protocerebral ganglia at the origin of paired frontal appendages. The ganglia connect to areas indicative of a bilateral pre-oral brain that receives projections from the eyestalk neuropils and compound retina. The dorsal, segmented brain of L. unguispinus reinforces an alliance between anomalocaridids and arthropods rather than cycloneuralians. Correspondences in brain organization between anomalocaridids and Onychophora resolve pre-protocerebral ganglia, associated with pre-ocular frontal appendages, as characters of the last common ancestor of euarthropods and onychophorans. A position of Radiodonta on the euarthropod stem-lineage implies the transformation of frontal appendages to another structure in crown-group euarthropods, with gene expression and neuroanatomy providing strong evidence that the paired, pre-oral labrum is the remnant of paired frontal appendages.

A spectacularly preserved creature, dubbed Lyrarapax unguispinus, was unearthed in China. The 520-million-year-old sea creature was so well-preserved that parts of its brain and nervous system were clearly defined.
photo: Peiyun Cong

Arthropoda von Siebold, 1848
Radiodonta Collins, 1996

Amplectobeluidae Vinther et al., 2014

Lyrarapax unguispinus gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. lyra (Latin): referring to an overall lyre-like body shape; rapax (Latin): predator; unguis (Latin): claw; spinus (Latin): thorn, alluding to the spinose, claw-like frontal appendages.

Holotype. Holotype YKLP 13304a, b (Fig. 1 and Extended Data Figs 1a and 2a–d), part and counterpart.
Referred material. Paratypes YKLP 13305 (part only, Figs 2 and 3b, c), YKLP 13306 (part and counterpart, Extended Data Fig. 3).

Locality. Ercaicun (YKLP 13304, 13306) and Mafang (YKLP 13305) in Haikou, Yunnan Province, China.

Horizon. Heilinpu Formation, Cambrian Series 2, Stage 3, Yu’anshan Member (Eoredlichia–Wutingaspis assemblage zone).

Peiyun Cong, Xiaoya Ma, Xianguang Hou, Gregory D. Edgecombe & Nicholas J. Strausfeld. 2014. Brain Structure resolves the Segmental Affinity of anomalocaridid Appendages. Nature. doi:

[PaleoMammalogy • 2014] Notiolofos cf. arquinotiensis • The Oldest Mammals from Antarctica, early Eocene of the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island

Figure 1. Geographical and stratigraphical provenance of the remains described here.
Figure 2. View of the north-west side of the Seymour Island. The arrow indicates the position of locality IAA 1/13.

New fossil mammals found at the base of Acantilados II Allomember of the La Meseta Formation, from the early Eocene (Ypresian) of Seymour Island, represent the oldest evidence of this group in Antarctica. Two specimens are here described; the first belongs to a talonid portion of a lower right molar assigned to the sparnotheriodontid litoptern Notiolofos sp. cf. N. arquinotiensis. Sparnotheriodontid were medium- to large-sized ungulates, with a wide distribution in the Eocene of South America and Antarctica. The second specimen is an intermediate phalanx referred to an indeterminate Eutheria, probably a South American native ungulate. These Antarctic findings in sediments of 55.3 Ma query the minimum age needed for terrestrial mammals to spread from South America to Antarctica, which should have occurred before the final break-up of Gondwana. This event involves the disappearance of the land bridge formed by the Weddellian Isthmus, which connected West Antarctica and southern South America from the Late Cretaceous until sometime in the earliest Palaeogene.
Keywords: West Antarctica; Palaeogene; Ypresian; tooth and bone morphology; ungulates; Sparnotheriodontidae

Class MAMMALIA Linnaeus, 1758
Order LITOPTERNA Ameghino, 1889

Genus NOTIOLOFOS Bond, Reguero, Vizcaíno, Marenssi and Ortiz Jaureguizar, 2009
Type species: Notiolofos arquinotiensis (Bond, Reguero, Vizcaíno and Marenssi, 2006).

Notiolofos cf. N. arquinotiensis (Bond, Reguero, Vizcaíno and Marenssi, 2006)  

 Javier N. Gelfo, Thomas Mörs, Malena Lorente, Guillermo M. López, Marcelo Reguero. in press. The Oldest Mammals from Antarctica, early Eocene of the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island. Palaeontology. doi:

Bond, M., Reguero, M. A., Vizcaíno, S. F. and Ortiz-Jaureguizar, E. 2009. Notiolofos, a replacement name for Notolophus Bond, Reguero, Vizcaíno and Marenssi, 2006, a preoccupied name. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 979.

M. Bond, M. A. Reguero, S. F. Vizcaíno and S. A. Marenssi. 2006. A New ‘South American ungulate’ (Mammalia: Litopterna) from the Eocene of the Antarctic Peninsula. In J. E. Francis, D. Pirrie, J. A. Crame (eds). Cretaceous-tertiary high-latitude palaeoenvironments: James Ross Basin, Antarctica. The Geological Society of London. 258(1): 163–176. doi:

[PaleoMammalogy • 2006] Notiolofos (Notolophus) arquinotiensis • A New ‘South American ungulate’ (Mammalia: Litopterna) from the Eocene of the Antarctic Peninsula


Notolophus arquinotiensis, a new genus and species of the family Sparnotheriodontidae (Mammalia, Litopterna), is represented by several isolated teeth from the shallow-marine sediments of the La Meseta Formation (late Early-Late Eocene) of Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, which have also yielded the youngest known sudamericids and marsupials. The new taxon belongs to the extinct order of ‘South American native ungulate’ Litopterna characterized by the convergence of the later forms with the equids and camelids. Notolophus arquinotiensis shows closest relationships with Victorlemoinea from the Itaboraian (middle Palaeocene) of Brazil and Riochican-Vacan (late Palaeocene-early Eocene) of Patagonia, Argentina. Although still poorly documented, this new taxon shows that the early Palaeogene Antarctic faunas might provide key data concerning the problems of the origin, diversity and basal phylogeny of some of the ‘South American ungulates’ (Litopterna). This new taxon shows the importance of Antarctica in the early evolution of the ungulates and illustrates our poor state of knowledge.

M. Bond, M. A. Reguero, S. F. Vizcaíno and S. A. Marenssi. 2006. A New ‘South American ungulate’ (Mammalia: Litopterna) from the Eocene of the Antarctic Peninsula. In J. E. Francis, D. Pirrie, J. A. Crame (eds). Cretaceous-tertiary high-latitude palaeoenvironments: James Ross Basin, Antarctica. The Geological Society of London. 258(1): 163–176. doi:

Bond, M., Reguero, M. A., Vizcaíno, S. F. and Ortiz-Jaureguizar, E. 2009. Notiolofos, a replacement name for Notolophus Bond, Reguero, Vizcaíno and Marenssi, 2006, a preoccupied name. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29, 979.

 Javier N. Gelfo, Thomas Mörs, Malena Lorente, Guillermo M. López, Marcelo Reguero.  in press. The oldest mammals from Antarctica, early Eocene of the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island. Palaeontology. doi:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

[Paleontology • 2014] Changyuraptor yangi • A New Raptorial Dinosaur with Exceptionally Long Feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid Flight Performance

Changyuraptor yangi
Han, Chiappe, Ji, Habib, Turner, Chinsamy, Liu & Han 2014

Microraptorines are a group of predatory dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs with aerodynamic capacity. These close relatives of birds are essential for testing hypotheses explaining the origin and early evolution of avian flight. Here we describe a new ‘four-winged’ microraptorine, Changyuraptor yangi, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. With tail feathers that are nearly 30 cm long, roughly 30% the length of the skeleton, the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaur. Furthermore, it is the largest theropod with long, pennaceous feathers attached to the lower hind limbs (that is, ‘hindwings’). The lengthy feathered tail of the new fossil provides insight into the flight performance of microraptorines and how they may have maintained aerial competency at larger body sizes. We demonstrate how the low-aspect-ratio tail of the new fossil would have acted as a pitch control structure reducing descent speed and thus playing a key role in landing.

Evolutionary tree of predatory dinosaurs, including the newly discovered Changyuraptor.
by L. Chiappe, Dinosaur Institute, NHM

Gang Han, Luis M. Chiappe,Shu-An Ji, Michael Habib,Alan H. Turner, Anusuya Chinsamy, Xueling Liu & Lizhuo Han. 2014. A New Raptorial Dinosaur with Exceptionally Long Feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid Flight Performance. Nature Communications. 5, Article number: 4382

Monday, July 14, 2014

[Crustacea • 2014] ปูเขารามโรม | Nakhonsimon ramromensis • A New Genus and Species of Freshwater Crab (Brachyura: Potamidae) from Nakhon Si Thammarat, Peninsular Thailand

ปูเขารามโรม | Nakhonsimon ramromensis
Promdam,  Nabhitabhata & Ng, 2014

 A new genus and species of potamid crab, Nakhonsimon ramromensis, is described from Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern Thailand. The new genus resembles Stoliczia and Johora from Peninsular Thailand and Malaysia in general features, but can be distinguished by the form of the male thoracic sternites 3 and 4, and the structure of the gonopods.

Key words. Nakhonsimon ramromensis, new genus, new species, Brachyura, Potamidae, freshwater crab, Peninsular Thailand, taxonomy

Nakhonsimon ramromensis Promdam,  Nabhitabhata & Ng, 2014
photo: R. Promdam [1] [2]


Family Potamidae Ortmann, 1896
Subfamily Potamiscinae Bott, 1970

Nakhonsimon, new genus
Type species. Nakhonsimon ramromensis, new species, designated herein.

Etymology. The name is an arbitrary combination of Changwat (= Province) Nakhon Si Thammarat, the type locality of the type species, in combination with the genus name Potamon. Gender of genus neuter.

Habitat. Adults of this species appear to be completely terrestrial, as they were found far away from any permanent water sources; the holotype male was found in a temporary pool on the highest point of the mountain ridge (about 996 m above sea level). Smaller crabs were observed in a phyotelm on a tree trunk that grows near the stream. Most juveniles were found beneath rocks in the main stream.

The gecarcinucid Phricotelphusa aedes (Kemp, 1923) was collected in the same vicinity as Nakhonsimon ramromensis.

Distribution. So far only known from the type locality on Khao Ram Rome, Changwat Nakhon Si Thammarat, Peninsular Thailand, but can probably be found in adjacent areas as well.

Rueangrit Promdam, Jaruwat Nabhitabhata & Peter K. L. Ng. 2014. Nakhonsimon ramromensis, A New Genus and Species of Freshwater Crab (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Potamidae) from Nakhon Si Thammarat, Peninsular Thailand. Raffles. Bull. Zool. 62: 496–500.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

[Botany • 2014] Revisions and Key to the Vernonieae (Compositae) of Thailand

Acilepis attenuata B Camchaya loloana C Camchaya loloana var. mukdahanensis
D Decaneuropsis cumingiana E Decaneuropsis eberhardtii F Pseudelephantopus spicatus  G Kurziella gymnoclada H Monosis parishii I Tarlmounia elliptica

Seventeen genera and 48 species, in five subtribes, are recognized in Thailand. These include 15 endemic taxa, half of which are in the largest genus, Acilepis, with others in the genera Camchaya, Koyamasia, and Okia. A new monotypic genus, Pulicarioidea, is established with P. annamica, the new name for the species formerly known as Vernonia pulicarioides. New combinations are also made for Acilepis kerrii, Cyanthillium montanum, Koyamasia curtisii and Okia pseudobirmanica. Forty-six characters including habit, leaf, flower, achene and pollen morphology were analyzed using UPGMA. Five clusters of taxa were identified. Keys to genera, species and varieties, descriptions, vernacular names, ecological data and illustrations are provided.

Keywords: Acilepis, Asteraceae, Camchaya, Cichorioideae, Cyanthillium, Decaneuropsis, Elephantopus, Ethulia, Gymnanthemum, Iodocephalopsis, Koyamasia, Kurziella, Monosis, Okia, Pseudelephantopus, Pulicarioidea, southeast Asia, Strobocalyx, Struchium, Tarlmounia


Figure 5. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 1.
A Acilepis attenuata B Acilepis divergens C Acilepis namnaoensis D Acilepis ngaoensis E Acilepis peguensis F Acilepis principis G Acilepis saligna H Acilepis silhetensis I Acilepis squarrosa.
Figure 6. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 2.
A Camchaya gracilis B Camchaya loloana C Camchaya loloana var. mukdahanensis D Camchaya pentagona E–F Camchaya spinulifera G Camchaya tenuiflora H–I Camchaya thailandica.


Figure 7. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 3. 
A Cyanthillium cinereum B Cyanthillium montanum C Cyanthillium patulum D Decaneuropsis cumingiana E Decaneuropsis eberhardtii F Decaneuropsis garrettiana.
Figure 8. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 4. 
A Elephantopus mollis B–C Elephantopus scaber D Elephantopus scaber var. penicillatus E–F Pseudelephantopus spicatus.


Figure 9. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 5. 
A–B Gymnanthemum extensum C Iodocephalopsis eberhardtii D Koyamasia calcarea E–F Koyamasia curtisii G Kurziella gymnoclada H Monosis parishii I Monosis volkameriifolia 
Figure 10. Morphology of Vernonieae in Thailand 6. 
A Okia birmanica B Okia pseudobirmanica C Pulicarioidea annamica D–E Strobocalyx arborea F Strobocalyx solanifolia G–H Struchium sparganophorum I Tarlmounia elliptica.

Sukhonthip Bunwong, Pranom Chantaranothai, Sterling C. Keeley. 2014. Revisions and Key to the Vernonieae (Compositae) of Thailand. PhytoKeys 37: 25–101

[Botany • 2010] A New Genus, Kurziella from Thailand (Vernonieae: Asteraceae)

Kurziella gymnoclada (Collett & Hemsley) H. Rob. & S. Bunwong
Fig. 1. Photographs of Kurziella gymnocladaยุ้งปัดแม่หม้าย [Yoong Pad Maa Mai]
 A, Habit, plant ca. 0.5 m high. B, Leaves in young branch in period before or after anthesis, larger leaves ca. 3 cm by 2 cm. C, Solitary terminal capitulum with pink flowers, capitulum ca. 10 mm long.

A new genus, Kurziella, is named to accommodate the Southeast Asian species Vernonia gymnoclada Coll. & Hemsl., a species often determined in herbaria as Vernonia juncea Kurz in Hook.f., nom. nud.

Kurziella H. Rob. & S. Bunwong, gen. nov.
Type species.— Vernonia gymnoclada Collett & Hemsley
Plantae Vernonieae in habitis in anthesis subaphyllis et in caulibus glabris distinctae.

The new genus is named here for the botanist who has been credited with the first unvalidated naming of the species, Wilhelm Sulpiz Kurz,1834–1878.

Kurziella gymnoclada (Collett & Hemsley) H. Rob. & S. Bunwong, comb. nov.

Harold Robinson, Sukhonthip Bunwong, and Pranom Chantaranothai. 2010. A New Genus, Kurziella from Thailand (Vernonieae: Asteraceae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 123(2) 174-178 doi:

Sukhonthip Bunwong, Pranom Chantaranothai, Sterling C. Keeley. 2014. Revisions and Key to the Vernonieae (Compositae) of Thailand. PhytoKeys 37: 25–101. 

[Botany • 2014] Ficus cornelisiana • A New Species of Ficus subsection Urostigma (Moraceae) from the Sino-himalayan region

Ficus cornelisiana Chantaras. & Y.Q. Peng.

A small fig tree has been misidentified as Ficus orthoneura for a long time. However, morphologically it is distinct from F. orthoneura and F. hookeriana. Typical are the ellipsoid, puberulous receptacle and caducous basal bracts. Leaf anatomy shows a multiple epidermis with the cells in the inner layer much larger than in the outer layer and thus both layers resemble an epidermis with a separate hypodermis. The abaxial cuticle is strongly sculptured, the palisade layer shows some long subdivided cells, and enlarged lithocysts are only present abaxially. Because of these differences we hereby describe it as a new species, named in honour of Cornelis (Cees) Berg: Ficus cornelisiana.

Keywords: China; Ficus; Moraceae; Vietnam; new species

B. Chantarasuwan; Y.-Q. Peng; P. Baas; J.-Y. Rasplus; B.-J. van Heuven and P.C. van Welzen. 2014. Ficus cornelisiana, A New Species of Ficus subsection Urostigma (Moraceae) from the Sino-himalayan region. Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants. DOI:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

[Ichthyology • 2014] Priocharax nanus • A New Miniature characid (Ostariophysi: Characiformes) from the rio Negro, Amazon basin

Priocharax nanus, new species, is described from the rio Negro, Brazil. It is a miniature fish that retains as an adult the larval rayless pectoral fin, a diagnostic character of the genus. Priocharax nanus possesses fewer reductive features compared to congeners, P. ariel and P. pygmaeus, from which it can be distinguished by the presence of i,6 pelvic-fin rays (vs. i,5), the presence of the claustrum (vs. claustrum absent) and the presence of two postcleithra (vs. postcleithra absent). An updated list of 213 species of miniature Neotropical freshwater fishes is presented. The greatest diversity among them is represented by 
the Characiformes with 87 miniature species.
Key words: Heterocharacinae, Miniaturization, Reductive characters.

Etymology. The species name is derived from the Latin, nanus, meaning a dwarf and alludes to the tiny size of adult specimens of the species. A noun in apposition.

Mônica Toledo-Piza, George M. T. Mattox and Ralf Britz. 2014. Priocharax nanus, A New Miniature characid from the rio Negro, Amazon basin (Ostariophysi: Characiformes), with an updated list of miniature Neotropical freshwater fishes. Neotropical Ichthyology. 12(2): 229-246. DOI: []